The cowgirls of the old west had spirit, courage, drive, strength (both physical and mental) and could ride a horse, take care of a homestead, brand cattle and shoot a gun!!!! There are many stories that depict the cowgirl spirit from the old west, but I found this one and had to share.......
Dedicated to all the Cowgirls of today who share the same feisty, independent, courage and drive of the Old West Cowgirls.....
Cowgirl Connie Reeves
The story below is from the book Cowgirls Women of the Wild West by Elizabeth Clair Flood
“One afternoon in 1888 trail driver Samuel Dunn Houston of San Antonio Texas hired a few men in Clayton New Mexico for a spring drive to Colorado. He found “a kid of a boy” at the livery stable who wanted to go up the trail.
Named Willie Matthews, he was 19 years old, weighed 125 pounds and was from Caldwell, Kansas. Houston soon discovered that he was also a good hand. In the Trail Drivers of Texas Houston reported:
“The kid would get up the darkest stormy nights and stay with the cattle until the storm was over. He was good natured, very modest, didn’t use and cuss words or tobacco and was always pleasant……I was so pleased with him that I wished many times that I could find two or three more like him.”
Houston wrote that the drive went smoothly until they reached Hugo, Colorado when Matthews approached him after dinner on the trail and asked if he could quit. “He insisted, said he was homesick, and I had to let him go.”
About sundown, all the cowboys were sitting around the campfire when a young lady “all dressed up” approached from the direction of town. Houston was baffled as to why a woman would visit his camp. When the lady was twenty feet from him, she laughed. “Mr Houston, you don’t know me, do you?”
Houston’s mouth dropped open. “Kid, is it possible that you are a lady?” He and the rest of his men were dumbfounded. All Houston could think of was what was said on the trail over the last three weeks.
He ordered her to sit down on a tomato box and explain herself. She told Mr. Houston that her father was an old-time trail driver from Caldwell. When she was 10 or 12 years old, she used to listen to his stories about he cow trails in the 1870’s. Fascinated, she vowed that she too would drive the cattle one day.
“Now, Mr Houston, I am glad I found you to make the trip with, for I have enjoyed it, “ she said as she left for home."
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